|The recent N Gauge Society 40th Anniversary Show at Kettering
saw Dapol release the much anticipated Southern Railway Q1 in British Railways
Initially, the loco is available with four running numbers, two of each with
early and late crests.
The Dapol Q1 buffered up to the Dapol M7
photograph by Adam Warr
Dapol has captured the distinctive look of the Q1 to perfection, with finely-moulded bodywork adorned with a host of separate fittings. Some photos of the model have already drawn comments of "is that really N Gauge and not a Photoshopped Hornby?"
The separate wire handrails are amongst the finest that I have seen in N and there is some impossibly intricate pipework running below the footplate, along with sand pipes, brake rigging and plenty of daylight under the boiler.
The tender is equally fine with an etched ladder and removable coal load. Careful with this, as it will drop out very easily as soon as the loco is turned upside down.
All of this is sprayed in a fetching matt black with red buffer beams, brass whistle and safety valves with finely applied number and BR totem.
Angled front and front views of this model.
Where the Q1 really scores is with the unique chassis design. The motor is in the tender and drives the rear axle of the loco by means of a driveshaft in between. This method of drive has been in use by continental manufacturers for some time and it is nice to see the UK market finally catching up.
The driveshaft is not that obtrusive due to the close coupling of the tender, which has fitted doors. If you have sharp curves on your layout, be careful if adding a footplate crew, as they may foul the swing of the shaft.
The chassis is fully DCC ready, with a six-pin decoder socket in the tender.
The loco wheels are blackened in the correct BFB pattern with see-through inserts – another welcome improvement over previous Dapol steam locos. The coupling rods are also blackened and commendably thin.
Pick-up is by all wheels on the loco and tender, the latter via brass pin-point bearing cups, ensuring a very free running design.
Dapol tells me that this chassis design will feature in all future tender engines, though with a slightly smaller (but very torque-y) motor.
The most comment on feature has to be the lubricator crank – another first in British N. This is incredibly fine and a joy to see in action.
Couplings are fit into an NEM socket and alternative buckeyes are supplied along with dummy screw couplings.
overview of the prototype
All photographs are copyright
First | 2nd
This page was created 23 September 2007